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The Switchboard: U.S. secretly created a subversive version of Twitter for Cuba

Students gather behind a business looking for a Internet signal for their smart phones in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, April 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Published every weekday, the Switchboard highlights five tech policy stories you need to read.

U.S. secretly created 'Cuban Twitter' to stir unrest. "When the network reached a critical mass of subscribers, perhaps hundreds of thousands, operators would introduce political content aimed at inspiring Cubans to organize 'smart mobs,'" according to the Associated Press, "mass gatherings called at a moment's notice that might trigger a Cuban Spring, or, as one USAID document put it, 'renegotiate the balance of power between the state and society.'"

Yahoo now encrypting traffic from its data centers, and plans to encrypt Messenger too. "In a meeting with reporters today, [Yahoo chief information security officer Alex] Stamos — who joined Yahoo three weeks ago — did not specifically call out the National Security Agency by name, but made it clear that revelations about NSA spying led directly to Yahoo's move toward more encryption," according to the Verge.

Computer companies back Aereo. "The Computer & Communications Industry Association (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!) and Mozilla tell the Supreme Court that if it finds against Aereo, it would threaten cloud computing," according to Multichannel News.

EU Parliament votes to end roaming fees by 2016, protect 'net neutrality.' "The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of ending mobile phone roaming fees on Thursday," Reuters reports, "a move that will cheer Europe's consumers even as it frustrates telecoms companies."

Government plan to adopt ODF file format sparks standards debate in UK. "The U.K. is moving to a system where citizens can exchange information with the government digitally by default," writes Computerworld, "but in choosing the file formats to use for that exchange, it must balance corporate interests with those of citizens."

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on telecommunications and the Internet. Before joining the Post, he was the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic.



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